Did you know that wine country is right around the corner from me now? Yea, that’s going to be dangerous.. but do you see where this past weekend’s trip is going..
As I mentioned last week, we have been taking advantage of our surroundings as much as possible and going on road trips on the weekends. It was only a matter of time until we made our way to wine country!
Buckwheat crepe with cheese, tomato, and mushrooms
..a quick trip to our new local farmers’ market for breakfast. Did I tell you that we got a place to live?! Well, we actually got 2 places to live. After putting down a deposit on an apartment, I heard back from someone on Craigslist with a place that looked even better [and cheaper..] so I figured it couldn’t hurt to go take a look. Turns out, it was better and we signed a new lease! We had to check out the closest market to see what we got ourselves into 😉 We were quite pleased and will definitely be returning! [Thank goodness for year-round markets in California!]
After breakfast, we made our way out to St. Helena, just north of Napa. The first stop on the trip was Beaulieu Vineyard. It was such a beautiful day and this place was so cute.
We each went for the red wine tasting which consisted of a pinot noir, merlot, red blend, and a cabernet sauvignon. The merlot and cab were my favorites until we got a couple extra free tastings of two of their other cabernets. Of course, the more expensive, special cab was our favorite!
Since it was about an hour and a half drive out to the first tasting, we didn’t get to the first tasting until close to noon so we decided to grab lunch before another winery. When we saw a stand with outdoor seating and a huge line of people waiting to order, we knew we had to pull over! Gott’s Roadside was one of the places recommended to us and we couldn’t pass up the idea of sitting outside for lunch in December!
Dungeness crab sandwich on a fresh acme roll
Green chile turkey burger & garlic fries in the background!
The west coast has it’s dungeness crab which is pretty darn tasty so I couldn’t turn down the special sandwich.. I have to admit, though, it’s no blue crab! Nathan got the green chile turkey burger and we shared an order of garlic fries and spicy tomato soup. It was all fantastic and I’m so glad we stopped.
After refueling, it was time for more wine! The next stop was St. Clement Vineyards. Their most popular wine is the Oroppas which is a cabernet. Fun fact: Oroppas spelled backward is Sapporo.. the owners of the vineyards!
The fabulous hilltop view [thanks for the picture, Nath!]
I can’t wait to go back there with friends when it gets warmer to do the hilltop tasting!
Our final stop in wine country was Heitz Cellar. They are one of the originals in that area and one of the only wineries to offer a free tasting. They had about 4 or 5 wines out to try but grabbed a few extras from the back for us to sneak a few tastes, including a bottle of cabernet that sells for $200! This was also about the time that I forgot to take pictures.. whoops!
On our way back, we stopped at V Marketplace in Yountville. We noticed it on our way out and it looked so nice that we wanted to check it out. We happened to get there right as the live music started 🙂
I enjoy a little Christmas music every now and then 😉
And what would a weekend trip be without a little beer?! There was a ton of traffic heading back into Oakland so we decided to pull off and make a pit stop to the Torpedo Room. This place just recently opened about a month or so ago and we were so excited to see some new Sierra Nevada beer on tap that we’d never tried before!
Our flight of newbies!
Of course we couldn’t get anything that we’d already had. From left to right, we had the Weizenbock, French Style Saison, Beer Camp Imperial Red Ale, and Audition Pumpkin Ale. They were all great, as usual, but my favorite was definitely the pumpkin. It wasn’t heavily spiced but had a nice, round pumpkin flavor to it. Nathan’s top picks were the saison and red. He couldn’t just choose one.. the saison is an all-around easy-drinking beer and the red had a nice amount of hop flavor. It really depends on your mood.
And the perfect ending of a day full of wine? Chocolate! [And peanut butter..]
Homemade peanut butter cup
Well, that’s really the best way to end any day, right? 😉
Food for Thought
Have you ever been to wine country?
What is your favorite type of wine?